From Group Finder to Grand Champions: MDI Global Finals

June 26th by Samantha Cruse

After hundreds of teams around the world entered the Proving Grounds in February, months of preparation and competition have come to this. The top eight teams met in Ohio for the first-ever Mythic Dungeon Invitational offline event to battle it out for a slice of the $100,000 prize pool. If you were unable to catch the action live this weekend, you can watch the VODs from Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Dreams Dashed

The first round of the tournament played out as expected. The top team for each region knocked the second seed from each region to the lower bracket to fight it out, hoping for redemption in the lower finals.

Method Pogchamp looked primed to accomplish such a feat after taking out both Sun Sky and Skyline.D from China, in addition to Gulch Trotters—who bested last year’s world champs Free Marsy—but were ultimately denied by Kjell’s Angels.

Lair of Tricks

Neltharion’s Lair was a staple map during the regional stages, but only made two appearances in the global finals—both of which took place between Kjell’s Angels and Method NA.

Considering how close the finish between the two teams was in the previous round, it was a bold move for Method NA to choose it as the fifth map of the Grand Final in hopes of crushing Kjell’s Angels, who had already tapped out their most dominant picks: Vault of the Wardens and Court of Stars. Both teams performed nearly flawlessly during both Lair appearances, but Kjell’s Angels gained the upper hand from a few strategies throughout the dungeon.

Most teams opt to skip upstairs trash packs, making up mob count later on—or for the sake of providing more real estate for the final boss fight with Dargrul. Kjell’s Angels bucked this trend by pulling an additional 9% of those mobs.

Their second strategy—pulling Rockback Gnashers who pose little threat alongside the third boss, Naraxas—boosted their Rogue’s single target damage by rapidly building combo points with Shuriken Storm. This closed any gap they had behind Method NA, filling their mob-count requirement for the dungeon and allowing them to further capitalize on their Rogue to make a beeline for the final boss without disturbing any of the trash that surrounds Dargrul. It makes for an incredibly tight and dangerous fight, and Kjell’s Angels pulled it off without a hitch on both occasions.

Unlikely Heroes

Kjell’s Angels were the sixth seed in the EU Regionals, where they took out the top four seeds for first place in their region. Along that road, they powered through all three Method-sponsored teams, including a rematch with Method NA to take the Championship. This is beyond impressive for a team that only came together with the help of the in-game Dungeon Finder tool this year.

BlizzCon Bound

Glory and a generous prize pool weren’t the only things on the line this weekend. The top four teams also secured a trip to BlizzCon this November for the MDI All-Stars—an exhibition tournament tackling the latest Mythic dungeons introduced in the upcoming Battle for Azeroth, which launches Aug. 14, 2018.